My family has a tradition of going to the movies on Boxing Day. Last Friday, a group of nine of us went downtown to see “The Imitation Game”. Based on the true story of mathematician Alan Turing, the film tells the story of the team working to break the infamous Enigma Code used by the Nazis to communicate military information during World War II. At one point in the film, a Bible belonging to one of the codebreakers is found, with the passage of Matthew 7:7 clearly marked: “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” And after several years of frustrating blind alleys, near-misses, interpersonal conflict, and an ingenious contraption named “Christopher” which became the forerunner of the modern computer, the unbreakable code is eventually broken. The Bletchley codebreakers sought, and eventually, they found; a discovery that helped bring the war to a quicker end and saved thousands of lives.
I don’t know about all of you, but I know that I look forward every year to hearing the magnificent blessing in the First Reading of the New Year liturgy. I am going to read it again slowly and I want you to hear it as though it is meant just for you. You can close your eyes so as to really take it all in.
Christmas, we are told, is a family time. And even where the religious significance of Christmas has been forgotten or reduced to something marginal, it remains the central family feast of the year. It is a time not only to give gifts, but for families to come together, to reconcile differences, to take some time out from their busy lives to share the gift of each other's presence.
If there is one day in the year when skepticism melts away and the believer hidden inside each of us resurfaces, that day is probably Christmas. But is it all just a nice story that we tell once a year, a play we act out – and then return to business as usual? In his recent LETTER TO A NON-BELIEVER, Pope Francis engages in a dialogue with Eugenio Scalfari – a self-professed agnostic and editor of the influential Italian daily "LA REPUBBLICA”. He writes:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ….What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it..”(John 1 1-5)
The Church begins a new liturgical year, with the season of Advent. Please note: the season of Advent, not the season of pre-Christmas sales! In fact, with the post-American Thanksgiving phenomenon of “Black Friday”, the ultimate shop-till-you-drop experience, gradually spreading its way ac
When you think of kings or queens, who comes to mind? (Elizabeth II … Charles and Camilla … Will and Kate?) What about historical ones – or even fictional ones? (Jadis, the White Witch – or the children in LWW who replace her as kings and queens of Narnia? The Tudors?) When you think of a king or queen, what qualities do you associate with them? (Rich, well-born, stylish, powerful, etc.)
This weekend, the Church celebrates the twin feasts of “All Saints” and “All Souls”. Both are of ancient origin: as early as the 4th century, the Eastern Church celebrated a solemn memorial of all martyrs, and by the 9th century, it was extended to the whole Church as a way
Today and tomorrow, the Church celebrates the twin feasts of “All Saints” and “All Souls”. These are among the most ancient feasts in the Church calendar. As early as the 4th century, the Eastern Churches celebrated a solemn memorial of all martyrs, and by the 9th century,
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, our readings speak to us of banquets and feasts. In the first reading, we hear Isaiah’s promise of “a feast of rich food and well-aged wines” for all peoples. The Psalmist describes God as a Good Shepherd who leads us to abundant pastures, who prepares for us a table of plenty, cups overflowing. Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus tells a parable of guests invited to a royal wedding-feast where the prime rib is ready for carving! Very fitting readings for Thanksgiving, a weekend in which many of us will go home to turkey or ham, to pumpkin pie or apple crisp, to whatever special food and drink we happen to enjoy for a feast with family and friends.